COVID-19 Testing in School Information

Updated: Jan. 29, 2020

The state’s micro-cluster strategy, announced this fall, required school-based testing for schools to stay open for in-person learning. At a press conference on Monday, Jan. 5, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that schools in counties with COVID-19 positivity rates greater than 9% need to test for COVID-19, and if their rates are below that of the community, they can stay open.

On Jan. 8, the Albany County Health Department informed K-12 schools in the county that they could begin testing. Surveillance COVID-19 testing in GCSD schools began on Jan. 15 and is expected to be complete by Friday, Feb. 5. Test results will be shared with families and staff.

COVID Testing at School

Testing is done at each school by a school nurse trained to administer a BinaxNOW rapid test. This is a minimally invasive shallow swab test involving a swab (similar to a Q-tip) going in the front of the nose. 

A few key points to know:

  • Remote-only students and staff will not be tested.
  • No individual is required to be tested.
  • Consent does not mean that individual will be tested. They will become a part of a group of individuals from which we will randomly select. Parents/guardians will be notified if their child was tested.
  • Results from the BinaxNOW rapid test are back within 15 minutes.
  • We will immediately contact the staff member or family of any child whose test results are positive for the virus.

We understand that this issue may raise a variety of considerations and questions, please send any questions to

COVID-19 Testing at GCSD Schools FAQ

View a series of common questions and answers concerning COVID-19 testing at GCSD Schools. 

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